Peter Svarich Memoirs

Peter Svarich Memoirs: 1877 - 1904Peter Svarich

Memoirs: 1877-1904

William Kostash, trans.

Edmonton: Ukrainian Pioneers' Association of Alberta and Huculak Chair for Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography

1999

Peter Svarich is a Canadian with a fascinating story. His autobiography begins with a Ukrainian village boy full of dreams. He pushes hard for an education, serves as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, then organizes the emigration of a huge group of families to Edna (now Star, Alberta) in 1900. The trip to Halifax was not without adventure, and the ride between Edmonton and Edna was momentous; pulling horses out of the deep mud, nearly drowning, coping with horrible mosquitoes, feeling alternately elated and hopeless. Peter describes the experience of selecting homesteads, building their first houses and ploughing their first fields. Peter Svarich does not stay long on his homestead, but works on the CPR, in the Rossland mines, and up in the Klondike during the gold rush. He returns to Vegreville and marries Mary Fedorkiw, opening a post office, building roads and schools and exploring many other occupations. Peter Svarich was an articulate and vocal community leader, and a writer with a vivid style. Translated by his nephew William Kostash, his tale is presented here for the first time in English.


Peter Svarich Memoirs: 1904-1922Peter Svarich 

Memoirs, v.2: 1904-1922 

William Kostash, trans. 

Edmonton: Ukrainian Pioneers' Association of Alberta and Huculak Chair for Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography 

2006 

This continuation of the Peter Svarich Memoirs is of a much more fragmentary nature than the first part (1877-1904). Its Ukrainian typed manuscript consisted of 74 pages, ending abruptly in 1922 with the description of war damages in the interior of Belgium. Therefore, a brief autobiography is added as an appendix for the reader to go through the Svarich experience, parts of which are not available in the Memoirs; in addition, there is a second appendix B containing a speech presented by Svarich on November 25, 1952 also provides a useful picture of his community interests. The Memoirs II manuscript seems to have been typed by a mysterious typist-editor with the cryptonym "O.R."